Senin, 07 Agustus 2017

History and Origins of Saman Dance

History and Origins of Saman Dance - Among the diverse dances from all corners of Indonesia, saman dance is included in a very interesting dance category. The uniqueness of this Saman Dance lies in the incredible compactness of its movement. Saman dancers can move in unison following the harmonious music. Regular movements as if moved one body, continue to dance with a compact, following a dynamic song kick. It's interesting, is not it? No one if the dance saman many captivate the lovers of dance art. Not only from Indonesia, but also from abroad. Now, let's take a closer look at this unique dance.

History of Saman Dance

Why is this dance called Saman dance? This dance is named after Saman because it was created by a Gayo cleric named Syekh Saman in about the XIV century AD, from the Gayo highlands. Initially, this dance was just a folk game called Pok Ane. However, then added the accompaniment of poems that contain the praise to Allah SWT, and also accompanied by a combination of the tap of the dancers. At that time, saman dance became one of the da'wah media.

At first, saman dance is only shown for certain events, especially when celebrating the Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad SAW or called the memorial of the Prophet Muhammad SAW.

Usually, saman dance is performed under the bottom of Meunasah (a kind of stage surau). However, over the times, Saman dance also grows until its use becomes more frequent. Nowadays, saman dance can be classified as entertainment / performance dance, because dance performance is not bound by time, certain event or ceremony.

Saman Dance can be displayed on any occasion of a crowd and excitement, such as birthday parties, weddings, or other celebrations. For the place, Saman dance is usually done at home, field, and some are using the stage.

Saman Dance is usually shown guided by a leader who is commonly called Sheikh. Saman and Sheikh Dancers should be able to work well together to create a compact and harmonious movement.

Meaning and Function

Saman Dance serve as a medium of da'wah. Before Saman begins, the adat leaders appear to represent the local community. Customary leaders provide useful advice to the players and the audience. The poetry in Saman dance also contains advices and dakwah.

But today, the saman dance function is shifting. This dance is more often serves as a medium of entertainment at parties, celebrations, and other events.
In Saman dance, there are 5 kinds of singing: Rengum, ie as the opening or mukaddimah of Saman dance (ie after the previous done shrill opening speech). This is a sound replica. Once the ends are directly connected simultaneously with the sentences contained therein, among others in the form of praise to a likable person, to the object, or to the plants.
Ringing, which is a rattle immediately followed by all dancers.
Redet, which is a short song with a short voice sung by a dancer in the middle of the dance.
Syek, a song sung by a dancer with a high-pitched voice, usually as a sign of change of motion.
Saur, a song that is repeated together by all dancers after being sung by solo dancers.
Saman Dance Movement

Saman dance uses two elements of motion that become the basic element in saman dance: Applause and chest. Allegedly, while spreading the religion of Islam, sheikh saman studied ancient Malay dance, then brought back through the motion accompanied by Islamic da'wah poems in order to facilitate his da'wah.

In the contemporary context, religious ritual dance is still used as a medium to convey the message of da'wah through performances.

The Saman dance is one of the most unique dances, because it only displays applause and other movements, such as shaking, kirep, lingang, sap-filter (all of this movement is Gayo language). In addition, there are 2 rows of people singing while clapping and all Saman Dance dancers have to dance harmoniously. In the usual Saman Dance, the tempo will grow longer so that Saman Dance interesting.


In general, Saman dance is played by dozens or dozens of men. But the number must be odd. However, in further development, this dance is also played by women. Another opinion said the dance is danced less than 10 people, with details of 8 dancers and 2 people as a giver of cue while singing.

However, developments in the modern era require that a dance will be more vibrant when danced by a number of dancers. This is where Shaykh's role is, he must organize movements and sing Saman dance poems.

Saman Dance Costume

Costume or special dress saman is divided from three parts, namely:
On the head: the bulb of a teleng or the base tanguluk of a square black fabric. Two facets embroidered with yarn like clothes, edit kepies.
On the body: shirt / clothe (black base shirt, embroidered white, green and red yarn, waist section embroidered with kedawek and kekait, short-sleeved shirt) pants and sarong.
On hand: bracelet mask, handkerchief. Similarly, in the use of color, according to tradition contains certain values, because the color shows the identity of the wearer. These colors reflect cohesiveness, wisdom, courage, courage and harmony.

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